What I do - I copy a string of words, extracted from the piece I want. Where possible I try to choose phrases which are distinctive. I also make sure that whatever string of words I'm using, I've got it RIGHT. Then I paste these words between double quote marks into the search engine. That should work. If you know the singer/songwriter you add that OUTSIDE the quote marks, maybe inside a second set of double quote marks, to narrow the hit rate.
Example - I want to find the lyrics to "Banks of the Ohio". If the title alone won't get it (and it probably won't, because there will be real estate ads or tourism ads which refer to a place as being "on the banks of the Ohio River") then I go through what I remember in my mind - "I asked my love to take a walk". Hmm, is that going to be enough? A lot of songs have that sequence. "Take a walk" is going to get a lot of hits which have nothing to do with the song.
You try this, and you try that. if you make your search too general you'll get a lot of 'noise'. If you make it too specific you could get nothing.
I do the same thing if I'm trying to find out if the latest virus warning email is hoax or not. I COULD go to one of many hoax busting websites, but I copy a distinctive patch of text into the search engine and generally get an answer within seconds.
sorry for the hi-jack, but Marguerite - how in the WORLD do you know the song "Banks of the Ohio"? We play that (have it on our CD) and first, many people IN Ohio have never heard of it, and even if they have, they have no idea of the sad lyrics that go with it.
Surely you've heard of Olivia Newton-John? Long before she went to the US, starred in "Grease" and married one of her dancers, she had a hit in Australia with her version of "Banks of the Ohio". That was back in about 1971 or 72. I thought that was what she used to springboard her career into the US. I could be wrong. We used to listen to the song (and the rest of the hit songs) on the big double-decker bus on the way to school (we rode a bus a lot like that one at the tram museum yesterday - had great fun telling the kids about what it was like, and the time we brought a powerline down in the street beside where husband & family lived - before I'd ever met them).
ONJ's version had some bright, sparkly music backing it, which seemed really odd considering the lyrics. Very early Seventies. Weird. But because it was a GIRL singing it, they changes the words to suit. And it didn't work. I think that one was a John Farrar produced release. He did a lot of her earlier stuff.
But hey, it was only an example! I'm glad I didn't describe the time I searched for "Ich bin Schnappi, das kleine Krokodil".
Enjoy the searches, folks. And once you begin searching like this, you will discover some amazing stuff.
Thanks for the feedback. Basically the problem I have is that the kids I work with (I am a therapist in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC))have free time after their therapy sessions and some like to get on the inter net and want to download lyrics to songs (they can't have CDs). The problem is that due to the language and subject matter of A LOT of popular songs they have to be edited. My choices are a). No lyrics, b). I edit them (too time consuming) c). they edit them which would expose them to the very words that they're not supposed to be viewing.
that's Marguerite, I don't think I've heard her version of the song. All I knew about it was that is't a "traditional" folk song in this area. It's one that a lot of instrumentalist play at jam sessions here.